Category Archives: News

Final COBRA Conference in Denmark on 24th and 25th November 2015

The COBRA project is running on third and last year and lots of knowledge has been gained on the way. On 24th November COBRA partners will gather in Denmark to exchange all the interesting results and experiences from the project and to plan new activities to follow.

The final conference will join the Danish Organic Congress on 25th November and the COBRA sessions on this second day will be open to the rest of the Organic Congress. The Danish Organic Congress is a big event, last time in 2013 with around 900 participants; it will also run through 26th November, where there will be an international track about organic grain legumes. All COBRA partners are welcome to join.

After the final COBRA conference and Danish Organic Congress there will be a Horizon 2020 project meeting arranged by FiBL on 26th and 27th November, and also an ECO-PB general assembly will take place on 26th November at the same location.

Registration will open mid-September and information will be sent to all COBRA partners.


24th Nov:
12.00 – 13.00 Registration and Lunch

13.00 – 18.00 COBRA conference
18.00 – 19.00 Dinner
19.30 – 21.00 COBRA meetings

25th Nov:
9.00 – 11.00 COBRA workshop (grain legumes)

11.30 – 18.00 COBRA at Danish Organic Congress
19.00 – Congress Dinner

26th Nov:
9.00 – 15.00 Danish Organic Congress, international grain legume track

13.00 – 18.00 Horizon 2020 project meeting (with some overlap to the Organic Congress)
18.00 – 19.00 Dinner
19.30 – 21.30 ECO-PB GA

*The program is provisional: WP5 workshop is in progress.


WP4 workshop programm for COBRA meeting of June 2015

   On the occasion of the upcoming COBRA meeting on 24th-25th June 2015, three separate moments will be devoted to the  discussion of the most relevant topics dealing  with the research conducted so far by WP2, WP3 and WP4 leaders togheter with their team.
Below, the detailed programm of the WP4 workshop arranged by Tove Mariegaard Pedersen, WP4 leader with her SEGES colleagues.  It will be held on 25th June from 10:00 to 12:00.


Organization models and funding of organic plant breeding & barriers and drivers in organic plant breeding in a chain perspective.

10.00 – 10.10 Introduction, Tove Mariegaard Pedersen, SEGES, Denmark

10.10 – 10.40 “Description of two initiatives to stimulate breeding in spring wheat for organic agriculture in the Netherlands”, Edwin Nuijten, Louis Bolk Institute, The Netherlands

·         Growing of CCPs in the Netherlands: possible selection methods for improved adaptation, required legislative aspects, important aspects of the production chain to make a CCP approach function

·         Regional chains, organisation and funding of plant breeding for organic agriculture: key elements to make such an approach work

10.40 – 11.05 “Framing organic seeds for market exchanges” Rikke Andersen, Aarhus University, Denmark

·         Developments of organic seeds entail the establishment of markets where seeds are exchanged and valuated. Market differentiation and processes of qualifying and framing seeds are illustrated in case studies of activities in Denmark where plant materials for organic farming systems are being tested. The case studies concerns 1) Seed savers testing heritage peas and beans; 2) A small miller looking for high quality grain fit for local organic production conditions; and 3) An established conventional breeding company engaged in discussions and testing of barley for organic farming.

11.15 – 11.30 “Progress in breeding for organics: impacts of the seed derogation system”. Sally Howlett and Gaina Dunsire, Organic Research Centre, United Kingdom

·         The seed derogation system is important in allowing organic farmers and growers to use non-organic seed when sufficient organically produced quantities and/or varieties are unavailable; however, it’s misuse can hamper the development of dedicated organic breeding programmes and act as a disincentive to investment in this sector.  These issues will be examined in this presentation, drawing on examples from the UK and Europe.

11.30 – 11.45 “Conventional vs. organic soybean production: major bottlenecks from northeastern Italy farms”, Fabiano Miceli, University of Udine, Italy

·         Preliminary results from a case study questionnaire with agronomic and economic questions handed out from August to November 2014.

11.45 – 12.00 “Breeding for organic farming: Activities to improve weed competitiveness of spring barley”, Tove Mariegaard Pedersen, SEGES, Denmark 

·         Dialogues between farmers, consultants, scientists and breeders have led to the development of enhanced methods to register weed competition during the breeding process.


OIKOS seminars in programm for 2015

Oikos Organic Norway will arrange the following seminars during 2015:

The partner Anne-Kristin Løes will give a presentation on behalf of Oikos during these events. 

COBRA meeting June 2015 announcement

Plant Breeding Triple Event!  

A COBRA meeting has been included as one of three different events related to plant breeding that will be held at the Technische Universität München (TUM) in Weihenstephan near Munich in Germany from 24th-26th June 2015. The other two events are the inaugural new EUCARPIA Working Group meeting on Plant-Microbe interactions and a working group meeting of the European Consortium for Organic Plant breeding (ECOPB).  This is a great opportunity bringing together different organisations and researchers all working on different areas related to organic plant breeding.

 The COBRA session runs from June 24th-25th (see link below) and begins with a choice of two field tours, followed by meetings of different workpackage groups for WPs 2,3 and 4.  Field tour A takes in the TUM composite cross population cereal trials and legume cover crops that are integral to the COBRA project and tour B, hosted by LfL, will show participants around the cereal trials for Tilletia controversa resistance screening.

The WP sessions will review progress to date and allow WP leaders to raise any specific issues for discussion with partners. For WPs 2 & 3 this will take the form of group discussions and presentations from task leaders, led by the respective WP leaders, Maria Finckh and Peter Baresel.  The WP4 session, led by Tove Mariegaard Pedersen, will be run as a workshop with speakers on organisational models of organic plant breeding and presentations of project case studies.

If you are able to come, please register via the FiBL website, where you can also find a full programme:

                                                                                                     Sally Howlett

The First Book to Fully Address the Systems Approach to Disease Management of Organic Crops

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Here, the pdf version of the webpage.

It was edited by Maria R. Finckh (WP2 leader) in collaboration with her colleagues, Ariena H. C. van Bruggen and Lucius Tamm.

It has been printed and will be ready for shipment in June. Now, you can find it online with an introductory discount.

24th-25th June: COBRA meeting in Germany!

The COBRA meeting will be held  from the afternoon of Wednesday 24th to the afternoon of Thursday 25th June in Weihenstephan, close to Munich, Germany. This event is attached to the EUCARPIA “Workshop on implemening plant –microbe interaction in plant breeding”.

In the bottom, you can find useful documents on the upcoming event!

Take note of the following important dates:
1 April 2015: second announcement and registration opening
15 April 2015: Deadline for Abstracts Submission
30 April 2015: Deadline for providing the information sheet of participants / research groups
10 May 2015: Confirmation of Registrations
30 May 2015: Publication of Final Program
25 ‐ 26 June 2015: Workshop in Weihenstephan

1) First announcement Breeding for plant microbe interaction June 25th – 26th 2015 NEW_Program
2) COBRA EUCARPIA workshop plant microbe interaction ECO-PB 2015 v4
3) Instructions-for-authors_plant microbe interaction 2015
4) Model for abstracts on plant microbe interaction
5) Interest in breeding for plant microbe interaction_Participant information